BC Ferries

Reinventing the wheel, timidly

British Columbia has established significant domestic production of natural gas and there are enormous reserves of recoverable gas newly discovered.

Western Europe has identified major new gas fields and North America has vast reserves of natural gas. So has Russia and, using technology developed in the last decade, China is beginning to exploit vast stores of gas.

In other words, the best markets for BC gas are domestic markets. Like automobiles, trucks and marine services.

BC Ferries claims it is being crushed by diesel fuel costs that have almost tripled in the last decade. Fuel accounts for more than one fifth of operating costs.

“MF Boknafjord”: World’s Largest LNG-Powered Ferry Named, gCaptain, Dec. 2011

Fjord1 has been considered a leader in the gas powered ferry market since the first LNG-powered ferry, Glutra, which is operated by Fjord1, was put into service in 2000. In 2006 and 2007, Fjord1 added five LNG powered car and passenger ferries to its fleet and the addition of the MF Boknafjord marks the sixth such ferry for the company. By the end of 2011, Fjord1 will operate a total of 12 LNG-powered car and passenger ferries along the Norwegian Coast.

“…the MF Boknafjord measures 129.9 m long by 19.2m wide and has the capacity for 242 passenger cars and 600 passengers including staff. The vessel features four azimuth thrusters that are run by a gas-electric system consisting of three large LNG gas motors and alternators, giving the vessel a service speed of approx. 20 knots.

“Aside from being LNG-powered, the ferry’s hull design and efficient engine technology help reduce fuel consumption and methane emissions by as much as 25%…”

BC Ferries looks to ditch diesel, convert fleet to liquefied natural gas, Brian Morton, Vancouver Sun, January 2012

“[BC Ferries] is doing a feasibility study on converting the Queen of Capilano, an 85-vehicle ferry that links Horseshoe Bay and Bowen Island, into the fleet’s first test LNG-powered vessel…”

Categories: BC Ferries

5 replies »

  1. I hope I'm wrong Norm but given what we know now I'm sure the attitude of this government would be to sell the Natural Gas rather than to make good use of it in Canada. In fact they will sell it at a loss! There seems to be a whole list that must be eliminated before Canada's needs are addressed. This seems to be the case no matter what resource we are talking about.


  2. Better get acquainted with fracking.. and all the politics, lobbying, deregulation, pollution, loss of personal and civic control of mineral rights, pipelines, staggering amounts of water, equally staggering amounts of 'flowback' liquids that must be 'disposed of', trucks and more trucks. Since BC shale plays are far deeper they just require a proportionately larger volume of fresh water.. and of course create the related 'flowback' volumes laced with chemicals. Try not to buy the hype that Canadian regulations are tighter and that we've been fracking in Canada without problems for 60 years.. http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-big-fracking-bubble-the-scam-behind-the-gas-boom-20120301 .. If you find yourself depressed.. well I don't know what to say.. Andrew Nikiforuk is light years ahead of me on this, as is Rafe Mair and many others.. I thought at first the battleground would be in the Great Bear Rainforest .. I was wrong, the battle is for the environment of British Columbia.. and every other province and territory in Canada as well… the Land, the Water, the Air .. and all the living creatures including ourselves have been put on eviction notice by one single man from Leaside, Ontario… Stephen Harper.. and willing and able partisan political animals like Joe Oliver, John Baird, Peter Mackay et al.


  3. In Canada Harper's greed comes first. The Campbell/Clark BC Liberals betrayed the BC citizens by working for Harper. All of them are rabid with greed, like a sickness.

    Who in their right minds would destroy, prime farmland, lakes, rivers, streams, our clean underground drinking water, the sea, our forests, our woodland wildlife, our fish, and our beautiful marine life? Oliver called us terrorists because, the BC people reject the Enbridge pipeline and the dirty oil tankers. Harper and Campbell signed a sneak deal, behind our backs. Their underhanded deal, permits Harper to FORCE the Enbridge pipeline onto the BC citizens and the province….the same way they forced the HST onto the BC people. None of the recent disasters of oil spills, have penetrated Harper's greed.

    Fracking uses stupendous amounts of water. This practice poisons the clean underground drinking water for miles. In some areas, you can light the water from your faucets on fire. People, farm animals, nor wildlife can drink such water as that.

    How can normal, sane people with ethics and morals, support Harper and his Conservatives…or the Campbell/Clark BC Liberals? The BC Conservatives, also support Harper's Enbridge pipeline.


  4. HI Norm,

    the feasibility study has been done. The two ferries that were in service from Fort Langley to Maple Ridge until the building of the Golden Ears bridge ran on natural gas for at least as many years as I have been in B.C. (1981). In the 80s there were various initiatives to convert vehicles to natural gas and propane which many folks did. For the life of me I cannot understand why answers to the obvious are so hard to come by. I'll probably have to look at who is dontating to who for that answer.


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